There’s this notion that if you apply your skin care in upward “sweeping” motions, you will lift, tighten, and improve the overall appearance of the skin. What a steaming pile of baloney, spam, and every other type of mixed garbage meat!
It makes absolutely no sense! Here’s why:
The Importance of the Subcutaneous Tissue
There are three primary layers of the skin: the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue, though some would argue that the subcutaneous tissue or the hypodermis is not actually part of the skin. But regardless, it is primarily this third layer that has relevance in our discussion. In this layer are fibrous structures—consisting primarily of collagen and elastin, which anchor the dermis to the underlying muscle issue. As we age, these structures become less resilient, thinner, and less dense due to a variety of reasons including free radical accumulation, glycation, etc. Furthermore, over time gravity begins to elicit physical manifestations in the skin. These all contribute to sagging. So naturally, people struggling with this problem would think that massaging the skin in the opposite direction of gravity would help alleviate this problem.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
The False Promises of Using Upward Motions
Now, these fibrous structures hold the dermis tightly in place. Think of them like little rubber bands. Gravity (a constant and ever-present force) is continually pulling on them in one direction. While we are young(er), our “rubber bands” have an intrinsic resistance that negates this force. Inevitably, this resistance will lessen as we age, which as addressed above, is due in-part to gravity.
Keeping in line with the current analogy, when you pull or push the skin upwards as you’re applying skin care, these rubber bands are being pulled or pushed in the opposite direction as gravity. But that’s just it! The strength in resistance that rubber bands possess is dependent on how often and how strongly it is pulled or pushed in ANY direction; it does not discriminate between upward and downward motions. Motion in any direction will stretch these rubber bands.
Therefore, performing upward motions while applying skin care, actually weakens this natural resistance just like gravity! In fact, these actions weaken the fibrous structures more so than gravity alone, since you have to first apply enough force to overcome that of gravity, and then apply additional force to achieve the actual upward motion! It’s Physics 101!
Conclusion: Be Gentle with the Skin
Well, another myth busted! As it turns out, applying upward motions does nothing to help with sagging skin. In addition, that may even further weaken the structures holding the skin in place, especially considering the fact that people who employ these upward motions have a tendency to be overly aggressive and vigorous (in an attempt to reverse the sagging). Ironically, they’re just making things worse; granted not by that much more. I mean, even when we’re very old, the skin is still surprisingly resilient. I mean, you’ve never heard of someone’s face falling off after vigorous rubbing, right? Still, there’s no point in being aggressive.
So if you’re doing this now, stop. It doesn’t matter what direction you push or pull; everything leads to an increased weakening of the “rubber bands” because they’re being stretched. Just be gentle.
Gosh, I hate baloney.
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